How do I practice writing stories

Text is not just text - some cast us under its spell immediately, others are just boring. In order to write good texts, creativity is required - and you can consciously encourage it.

Find out what to look for in this article creative writing and what methods you can use to improve your writing style.

What is "creative writing“?

Creative writing includes methods and techniques for writing texts. Writing is understood as a creative process in which different approaches to brainstorming help when creating the text. The concept follows the principle that everyone can learn to write texts.

Creative vs. literary writing

If you creative texts When writing, you are basically doing nothing but J.K. Rowling, Stephen King or Dan Brown: you are writing. And yet there must be a difference, why the texts of some authors captivate millions of people and countless others disappear in no time at all. The reason lies in their particularly entertaining and exciting way of writing.

In general, there are different ways a story can be conveyed. A rough distinction is often made here between one rather factual reporting and one freer, entertaining approach.

In the latter case, a differentiation can be made. While literary writing puts the intellectual aspect in the foreground and targets a readership with high literary demands that has creative writing not necessarily an intellectual, but an artistic one.

Creative writing is aimed at a broad audience and uses certain rules and patterns to entertain and inspire - this applies to novels and stories as well as to articles in a blog.

How to Learn Creative Writing

Regardless of whether you are aiming to write the next bestseller or just produce great articles for your content marketing, a lot creativity is in demand in both sectors.

According to the Swiss German studies specialist and didactic specialist Kaspar H. Spinner, creative writing works according to three principles:

  • Irritation: Break through familiar everyday patterns.
  • Expression: Expressing personality.
  • imagination: Stimulate imagination and imagination.

The Creative writing concept comprises various methods and techniques that are necessary for learning the "craft" of text creation. From inspiration and brainstorming to breaking down writer's block to optimizing your individual writing style.

The good thing is that creative writing can be learned like any other skill. On the one hand there are a number of training and further education options, on the other hand there are also a lot of different exercises to acquire creative writing autodidactically.

13 exercises for better texts

Since the ability to creative writing is innate in any author, no matter how good, it stands to reason that practice and application also play a major role here. We have summarized a selection of the best tips for you below.

1) Write - no matter what

Practice, practice, practice!“Is the most important credo when writing good texts. Therefore, you should write as much and as often as you can. What you write about doesn't really matter - you can just as easily document your daily experiences in a diary or write down your thoughts on current events as you start with a first draft of your novel - as long as you write.

2) Read - even bad texts

Reading is inevitably linked to writing. Therefore, you should not only write texts yourself, but also consume as many texts as possible. This not only gives you input for ideas and topics, you also get to know different writing styles and expand your vocabulary. "Bad" texts can also be useful to you if you read them critically.

3) The notebook as a constant companion

Ideas are like smoke and mirrors - no sooner are they there than they can be gone again. That is why you should always be able to To write down your brainstorms, be it the classic way with pen and paper or as digital notes using apps such as Evernote.

4) Inspiration lurks everywhere: take a look!

Inspiration for creative writing you can get it practically anywhere. It is easiest if you start with yourself: for example, think about your best or worst experience and describe why it was and what you felt. Or you can use an everyday situation, an object or a person as a hook for your text.

5) Creative training with stories

Storytelling is one of the secrets of the success of good texts. So that it becomes part of your flesh and blood, you can, for example, randomly select five words from a book and combine them into a new story.

Alternatively, you can use story cubes for this. Instead of numbers, these small cubes have symbols that you can use your imagination to fuse into a story.

Another finger exercise is to try and make a meaningful one Short story in 5 sentences to compose. In addition, you can also rewire foreign material, for example by giving your favorite novel a different ending, telling the story from someone else's point of view or continuing the story after the end.

A whole genre has even developed from these endeavors: fan fiction. Large portals for this are, for example, FanFiktion.de and FanFiction.net. Here you can not only browse, but also present your works yourself.

6) Jump into the deep end

To your vocabulary and yours stylistic repertoire to expand, you can occasionally dare to approach text types that basically have nothing to do with your actual content.

If you write a poem or a love letter, for example, you will leave familiar territory because you will have to use a different vocabulary and style than you are used to.

7) In the beginning was the end ...

The biggest challenge in writing is common the right start. Instead of thinking for hours about the successful introduction or the optimal heading, you should rather start with the end and bridge the horse from behind, so to speak. However, you can also simply take over the beginning of another text (and change it again at the end) if this makes it easier for you to find your way into the topic.

8) Write in small bites

If you shudder at the thought of a long piece of text, you can outsmart yourself. You sit down small goalsby resolving to write just a paragraph or even a sentence, for example. Because once you are "in", it will practically go by itself.

9) Write as you speak

When you write, you shouldn't be pretending. Try not to lag your personality behind embellished, artificial formulations to hide. It is best to write the way you speak. Use the same choice of words in the written language as you use them in the spoken language - you will not only feel more comfortable, but also appear much more authentic.

10) Don't mince your words

Around authenticity To exercise, you can write on a topic that really annoys you. Write down your frustration and you will find that you use your own personal style.

11) Create images in the mind of the reader

Good texts solve automatically for readers Emotions out. Therefore, you shouldn't anticipate them by naming feelings. Instead, it is better to describe what is happening and let images emerge in your head - true to the motto: "Show, don’t tell.

12) early bird or night owl?

Everyone has his personal performance curves - Therefore you should write when it is easiest for you and you feel inspired. Try to find out when your most productive time is and make the most of it.

13) Get in the mood for writing

Apart from a working atmosphere that is as undisturbed as possible and the right equipment, you can also encourage certain rituals to achieve top creative performances. Be it a round of yoga, a nice cup of tea or certain background music. Proven and loved ones Habits can give your creativity the necessary impetus and create a framework for the situation.

Anyone who wants to write better texts is familiar with the methods and exercises of the creative writing well advised. They help to find ideas and suggestions, to overcome hurdles in writing and to develop an individual style.

Header image: Dmitry Ratushny / Unsplash

Originally published February 24, 2020, updated February 24, 2020

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